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2014 Kia Cadenza Review

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2014 Kia Cadenza Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

Mixing a segment-straddling starting price of just over $35,000 with premium-level amenities including an available Nappa leather upgrade, the 2014 Kia Cadenza large sedan is a new expression of the automaker's feature-driven value offering. Kia's largest and priciest offering to date, the Cadenza conveys a sportier image than either its Hyundai Azera corporate cousin or the benchmark Toyota Avalon, even if it isn't as fun to drive as the smaller Nissan Maxima or (barely) pricier Acura TL. The Cadenza isn't as to-the-bone refined as some of its more seasoned competitors, but the resulting ride and handling shortcomings are subtle at worst. The 2014 Cadenza is the latest surprise from Kia, but not to those familiar with the automaker's most recent offerings.

You'll Like This Car If...

Sportier than Toyota Avalon and Chevy Impala, roomier than Nissan Maxima and an arguable alternative to premium-badged sedans like the Lexus ES 350 and Acura TL, the 2014 Kia Cadenza is hard not to like.

You May Not Like This Car If...

We like the Cadenza's ride/handling mix, but the segment offers both sportier and softer alternatives for those looking for a more focused option.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.0
  • 7.6
  • 8.0
  • 8.2
  • 8.0
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#45

out of 53

Fuel Economy

#14

out of 54

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.4 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Kia Cadenza Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

A new nameplate in a new category for Kia, the Cadenza is about as new as it gets.

Driving the Cadenza
2014 Kia Cadenza Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2014 Kia Cadenza isn't as sporty as it looks, but that's probably a good thing. In the front-wheel-drive large sedan segment, comfort is a higher priority than performance, and...

... the firmer ride that typically accompanies more athletic handling isn't worth the compromise for most buyers. That's not to say the Cadenza is a softy – it's shown us a good time on some good roads – only that it plays in the same comfortable ballpark as its competitors.

Built on the same platform and driven by the same V6 powertrain as the Hyundai Azera, we were surprised by the Cadenza's superior steering and suspension feel. Other highlights include a seamless powertrain that leaves the line smoothly, and a cabin that remains notably quiet on the highway. Rough pavement can belie the sense of sophistication the rest of the car works hard to convey, but overall, the Cadenza drives about the same as any of today's good large sedans.

ADVANCED SMART CRUISE CONTROL
The 2014 Kia Cadenza offers an adaptive cruise control system that will bring the vehicle to a full stop in sync with the car ahead, and automatically start forward again if the stop was two seconds or less.

WHITE INTERIOR PACKAGE
If you spend the extra $6,000 to add the Luxury and Technology packages, you'll have the opportunity to choose a ritzy white Nappa leather interior – free of charge.

2014 Kia Cadenza Details
2014 Kia Cadenza Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Cadenza's stylishly straightforward all-black dash is a big part of the car's sporty persona. Working backward, the front seats are good but not best-in-class, the rear seat is as roomy as you expect from a large sedan and the trunk is big enough to swallow an entire foursome's golf bags. The highlight, though, may be the overall sense of quality and refinement.

Exterior
2014 Kia Cadenza photo

The 2014 Kia Cadenza is one of those un-radical designs that looks good at first, and then looks better and better as its reserved but powerful lines and subconsciously satisfying proportions work their way into your soul.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

At its starting sticker price of $35,900 with destination, the 2014 Kia Cadenza includes keyless entry and pushbutton start, leather seating, an 8-inch central display, navigation, a 550-watt/12-speaker Infinity audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/Satellite radio, plus USB, Bluetooth and auxiliary audio connectivity. UVO eServices is also standard. In addition to a bunch of other cool infotainment capabilities – many of them voice-activated – Kia's next-gen UVO system leverages your smartphone to automatically call 911 in the event of an airbag deployment, and lets you send a navigation destination from your computer to the car.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded 2014 Kia Cadenza is priced at $41,900 and includes premium-grade highlights such as smooth Nappa leather, an LCD gauge cluster, a ventilated driver's seat with extendable thigh support, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, a panoramic moonroof, and a bunch of other features you'll want to show your friends.

Under the Hood
2014 Kia Cadenza Engine photo

The Cadenza's sole powertrain comprises a 3.3-liter V6 engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. The setup is similar to what you'll find elsewhere in the segment, and the Kia's is as good as any of them. Similarly, fuel economy is about average for the category.

3.3-liter V6
293 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
255 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg

The 2014 Kia Cadenza starts at $35,900 with destination charges and tops out at $41,900, new highs for Kia. That starting price is closer to premium entries like the Acura TL and Lexus ES than mainstream competitors like the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, but the Cadenza's standard features set is also more premium-like. We expect the 2014 Kia Cadenza to benefit from the same rise in resale values that's improving the fiscal appeal of most Kia vehicles, but that's not to say they'll be on par with Toyota or Lexus. As always, don't make a move without arming yourself with the 2014 Kia Cadenza's Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, which reflects actual marketplace transactions.

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2014 Kia Cadenza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 22 Ratings for the 2014 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    7.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Initally Hesistant but Glad I Purchased!!

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "sleek, stylish, turns heads"

Cons: "pick-up speed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I traded in my 2012 Acura TL (lease ended) for a 2014 Cadenza Limited with 19 inch rims. I love my Cadenza!! I have had very few issues with this car (small engine knocking noise) and overall I am happy that I purchased this vehicle. Ride is smooth, although I wish the pick-up speed was better. The interior is good, I wish it had cooled passenger seat though. I do agree that some of the buttons are in awkward positions but overall you get used to it."

Luxury features ant a bargain price

By on Monday, April 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A premium luxury car and a great value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

2014 Cadenza with Luxury package in Satin Metal with Black interior

"I purchased a 10-month old Cadenza with 13,000 miles and saved the 1st year depreciation. The car is a 2014 with Luxury package. I love the features and find the car is very compatible to a Lexus in both quality and comfort. On my first highway trip traveling at about 72 mph on a freeway I received 32.2 mpg. The UVO system is very easy to use. I was a little hesitant to buy a Korean built car after having many trouble-free Toyotas in the past, but knock on wood, the build quality seems to be very compatible to my Toyotas and the Kia warranty gives me confidence. I have received many compliments on the car and people who have never looked closely at a Cadenza before always leave with a favorable impression."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

2014 Cadenza with Luxury package in Satin Metal with Black interior

A really nice car

By on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A lot of car for the money."

Cons: "Front lip likes to say howdy to every curb."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I had the first Cadenza in my area, and now 21 months later people still stare at the vehicle. Mine is black with the 18" wheels and a silver/platinum accent stripe. The car is just beautiful. Very comfortable to drive, excellent steering and engine response, and controls for everything you can think of. Cell phone linking is easy, heated steering wheel is wonderful, Audio is superb. Engine is much happier with mid-level than regular. Mid-level mileage is 27 mpg on regular streets and as much as 32 mpg on the Interstates. Regular produces 3-4 mpg less while the engine runs rougher. A stop/start feature would be welcome as waiting at a long stoplight produces several reductions to the combined mpg. The front lip is very low and invites contact with curbs if you are not careful. Overall, one of the best automobiles I have owned. Not a sport sedan, but a truly wonderful cruiser with lots of room in the back seat and the trunk. I just love driving it. Most of the time it feels like a 4-door GT."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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